The steering system is one of the most crucial components of the vehicle. When the steering system fails, the overall safety and performance of the vehicle will be compromised. If you are experiencing difficulty in turning the steering wheel, this is an indication that there is an issue with the powering steering system.
Finding Out Why Your Steering Wheel is Hard to Turn
It’s not uncommon for the steering wheel of a vehicle to suddenly become stiff or unresponsive. Don’t worry—there’s not something jammed or broken, making the vehicle too difficult to control. In most cases, steering wheel problems can be easy to troubleshoot.
When the steering wheel is hard to turn, the problem is often with the power steering system. This system helps you when turning the wheels. Today’s cars are not designed to work without power steering, and for that reason, it is important to get that system fixed as soon as it stops working. Power steering uses pressurized hydraulic fluid against one side of the piston, which forces the wheels turn and makes steering far easier.
Here are some of the common causes of a malfunctioning steering system.
You are Running Low on Power Steering Fluid
A low level of power steering fluid is the number one cause of a steering wheel being hard to turn. While refilling the power steering reservoir with fluid will temporarily fix the problem, the root cause of the disappearing power steering fluid will need to be found. There is a good chance that a pressurized hose could be loose or cracked. The main purpose of the power steering fluid is to lubricate the power steering pump and to transmit pressure seamlessly throughout the system.
Damaged or Loose Power Steering Belt
Another challenge with your steering system could be that the serpentine belt has becomes loose or has broken, which will cause the power steering system will instantly become inactive. Other components such as the alternator and the air conditioner may also stop working. Over time, the material of the belt gradually begins to wear down. Even high-quality serpentine belts will eventually need to be replaced. If the belt is continually loose, there may be a more culprit, that being a worn pulley.
Power Steering Pump Failure
Although power steering pumps are designed to last for thousands of miles, it may still prematurely fail. Often times a steering pump becomes noisy when it is on its last leg. The key is to have the power steering system checked out immediately at the initial sign of a problem.
Faulty Steering Rack
The steering rack is the key part of the steering make-up and is part of the rack and pinion. Working with the power steering system, steering racks become damaged over time simply because of usage. If your steering wheel is hard to turn only when you first start the car but progressively gets better, then the steering rack is probably damaged. As the car warms up, the rack becomes hot and better lubricated and the problem tends to go away. However, you should still have the rack replaced.
Importance of Seeking Repairs for A Power Steering Problem
Without a fully functioning power steering system, control of your vehicle is very hard. This can put not only yourself but everyone else on the road in danger. The best way to avoid these problems is to prevent them. Keep your fluid levels high at all times and make sure the power steering system is checked every time you send your car in for scheduled services.
Desert Oasis European Auto Repair Shop is committed to keeping your vehicle running up to standard. Our dedicated and highly trained staff is always available to discuss your car’s needs and the services we offer. Contact us today to find out what we can do for your vehicle.